Important Life Events that Cause You to Revisit Your Will
No matter who you are, or where you are at in life, it is essential to have a will. A will allows you to have control over what happens to your assets and personal belongings if you die, plus it will enable you to take steps to care for your family.
Life is always changing—as a result, even if you already have a will, it is possible you may need to revisit and revise your current will. Certain life events can change your thoughts about both who should receive your assets and how they should be distributed.
When Should You Update Your Will?
A few of these life events that could cause you to take a second look at your will include: children, divorce, and death.
- Children: Having children is often the main reason people decide to create a will in the first place. If you already have a will and then have a child, it is important to revise your will to include your child (or children). Perhaps the most important revision would be to name a guardian for your minor child(ren). Typically, if only one parent dies, the surviving parent will become the guardian of the minor children. However, if both parents die, things can get more complicated. If you don’t have a guardian named in your will, the decision of who should parent your child(ren) in the event of your untimely death could be left up to a Court. To avoid this, take time to name a guardian for your child(ren)—this way you can choose someone you trust to love and care for them just as you would.
- Divorce: Divorce is another life event that may cause you to take another look at your will. A divorce often results in splitting assets between the two spouses, which may mean that you don’t end up with an asset listed in your will (a specific home, car, bank account ). Additionally, you will want to name new beneficiaries or recipients for your assets, since your ex-spouse will likely no longer be the person you choose to leave them to. If your ex-spouse was listed as the executor of your estate, you can name a new executor.
- Death: On occasion, someone you list in your will may die before you. If this happens, you will want to revisit your will. If the death was of the person you named as your child’s guardian in the event of your death, you will need to pick another trusted individual. If it was someone you picked as a beneficiary to inherit a personal asset or money, you will want to name someone new, especially if the asset has sentimental value.
Unfortunately, even if we take time to plan for our future, things can change. Unexpected life events may require you to revisit, update, and alter your will. To make this process simple, you should reach out to an experienced attorney.